When you travel as many places as I plan to over the next two weeks, it's inevitable that somewhere along the way I'll meet some random person who knows a random friend of mine, or whose grandfather taught me Strategic Marketing in college, or whose son was beaten up by one of my relatives at Mardi Gras. You know, random "six degrees of Kevin Bacon" type stuff. Well, it only took one day. At the Chimes in Baton Rouge, I was telling my waitress (the lovely and talented Cricket, pictured going dual rods below) about my trip and my New York-area destination when the couple at the next table overheard our conversation. Rather than publicly lambaste them for eavesdropping on my top secret "sweet nothings" with Cricket, I decided to engage them in conversation. Come to find out the husband coached my cousin Mike's son in soccer in upstate New York. Why do you care about this? I don't know. To be honest, after re-reading the story, I'm starting to care less and less about it as well. Damn, sorry about the lead in for this post. You'll never get the last 90 seconds of your life back ... my bad.
Anyway, I did go to the Chimes, which came highly recommended by many LSU alum listeners to the "Sean and John Show". Truth be told, I've been to the Chimes a handful of times before with the mother of my children back in a simpler time and place, back when deciding between gumbo and stuffed mushrooms represented "tough decisions". Feeling nostalgic for said time and place, I decided to jump on the stuffed mushrooms Saturday morning before hitting the road for Mississippi. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I came away disappointed. The mushrooms themselves and the crab meat stuffing were fine, but the cheese on top was problematic, to say the least. When a dish is described as having "melted cheese", I expect the cheese to have a gooey consistency to it. The cheese on the stuffed mushrooms can't even be described as "melted". It was more like a cheesy shell, kind of like the chocolate shell that Dairy Queen puts on a soft serve cone. Like the chef said "screw it" and poured the queso version of the chocolate shell on my stuffed mushrooms. It was like a cheese helmet.
Now, I have certain rules in life and one of them is that if the melted cheese on a dish crunches like a mouthful of Doritos, the grade for said dish cannot be above a C. Of course, back in the aforementioned simpler time and place (around 1994), the stuffed mushrooms were an A- at worst. Perhaps that's a metaphor for something. Or perhaps the chef at the Chimes on Saturday mornings is violently hungover and could give a damn. Whatever.
At least Cricket is not averse to flashing the double rods. You go, girl!!!
THE CHIMES - BATON ROUGE, LA
FOOD: STUFFED MUSHROOMS